Join the Conversation on
3.5K people
0 stories
644 posts
  • About Smoking
  • Note: The hashtags you follow are publicly viewable on your profile; you can change this at any time.
    Don’t miss what’s new on The Mighty. We have over 20 email newsletters to choose from, from mental health to chronic illness.
    Browse and Subscribe
    What's New in Smoking
    Community Voices

    Before bed

    <p>Before bed</p>
    7 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Sad and stressed tonight

    I've been struggling for a few months in particular and it feels like its just not getting any better. I've got a lot of health stuff going on right now and housing issues too.

    My brain is lying to me again. Its saying things like "You're a bad person and all of this is punishment" and "Nobody loves you because you're too broken to be loved" which I know is utter BS but my heart is hurting and starting to believe the lies. I'm trying to rise above the anxiety and pull thru but...

    Well, my therapist says I'm doing better. But I relapsed on smoking after 2 and a half months of quitting. He says I'm clinging to maladaptive coping techniques and I know its true but I can't seem to shake it. I don't know what else to do.

    What kinds of coping do you use to get thru hard times? Breathing exercises? Mindful eating? Meditation? Breaking things and primal screaming while covered in war paint at night under the full moon?

    12 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Music is my therapy

    I listen to music almost all the time. And just to warn you, I’m going to be singing along. (I have a good voice though) My kids complain about it (13,17 both boys and both on the Spectrum but at completely different levels. I suspect that I’m autistic #Autism so I understand why certain things bother them. It doesn’t matter if it’s their favorite song playing, they insist that I turn it down (one seems to have super hearing because he’ll be on the computer (which is between all of the bedrooms and all of the doors are to remain shut) WITH headphones on, and I’ll be on my bed listening to my #Music and possibly singing, and then I’ll hear one of my sons yelling “Turn it down!” And I have to turn it down to where I can barely hear it or put my headphones on. And when I yell to one of my kids from the same place I had been playing music, they yell back “If you’re trying to talk to me then come out here!” Or they knock on the door and I yell “Come in!” And they reply, “What? I can’t understand what you’re saying! Can I open the door?” But my music is WAY TOO LOUD. And then I’m going, but you like Slipknot! And they always say that they don’t want to hear it right now.

    So I go out to the porch with a speaker and I can blast my music outside. Music was one of the only things that would calm down our feral #Cat (we’ve had him since he was 5 weeks old and his mother was rejecting him) but he was just amazed at the sounds coming out of my cell phone and stop using his teeth and claws when we had him in the bed. (Side note- no matter how young the feral cat is, and how used to humans they are, they are still wild animals and you have to take time to tame them) His favorite band was #tool . He would actually curl up on the phone and listen.
    I have several chronic illnesses and emotional issues—#Ehlers -Danlos Syndrome type 3, #Fibromyalgia , #idiopathic peripheral neuropathy,#Dysautonomia and I’m being evaluated for #Lupus and #rheumatoid arthritis (EDS likes to bring friends), and I have a small cyst on my pancreas that could turn cancerous (my grandfather, great grandmother and my great uncle [my grandfather’s brother and g-grandmother’s son] all died of #pancreatic cancer. I have a bunch of #nodules on my liver and my #thyroid , #Migraines AND #cluster headaches, #hashimotos , and I suspect #Celiac disease since my mother and nephew have it and it would explain a whole lot (right now I’m cutting out dairy, then wheat, then soy-which is difficult because I’m a #Vegetarian ) plus my mental illnesses, #PTSD , #Bipolar disorder,#Anxiety and depression—and those last two are actually a CRITERIA for #EDS .
    I have to have my music and be able to listen to it—before I had ear pods, I would just play it on my phone with it stuck upside down in my bra. The music that is played in stores that I have to go to will actually give me a #Migraine so I don’t have any problems with bothering other people by playing my favorite playlist. They need to be exposed to good music anyway.
    I loved that I had a Bluetooth radio in my car, and I would have it turned up loud, and when I was smoking (I just quit!) I would have the a/c blasting (I live in #austin #texas , so it’s running year round) and I would have my window down for my cigarette. And this way I could expose people to good music (if I had a chance to say just 5 words to the country, it would be “ STOP LISTENING TO SH*TTY MUSIC”(seriously, what’s with all the smut in popular music today?)) and possibly find another person that enjoyed the bands that I play.
    My number one song for my bad days is #invincible by #tool and this song has been my anthem. Also, A Perfect Circle’s #feathers , another #tool song, #thepatient (can you tell that I’m a big fan of Maynard James Keenan? I have everything that he’s released on my phone) and when I’m dealing with my #PTSD , there’s nothing like The (Dixie) Chick’s “Not Ready to Make Nice “and L7’s “Sh*tlist” and a whole lotta Hole.
    I’m into a lot of different genres, but mainly #Metal and #Punk (not pop punk! I don’t call that punk. It’s alternative.). And if I’m not in a motorized cart, having a good day, and I can see the security camera, then I’ll start dancing along the aisle (but not with other customers in it unless I can tell that they’re a punky/gothy/metal head/freak and then I’m talking bands with them.
    #Music has also been a way for me to meet people with similar tastes. I can’t go to listen to live music or go to a concert because of my #Dysautonomia . I don’t think that they would let me bring in a couple gallons of Gatorade. But I also made a battle vest with band patches and tons of band buttons (mainly punk bands and metal) and people will comment about this or that band, and ask what my favorite album is and my favorite song by that band (I know at least one song by each band and I’ll either name the song that is considered the best or an obscure song by a band that is mainly associated with just one song (like the Sex Pistols—I like the song “Pretty Vacant”) because I don’t just listen to one song, because you’re going to miss out on so many great songs that weren’t played on the radio.
    This is what I collect. Music. Musicians. And I’ll research them and tell people obscure things about that musician or band-like that during a Nirvana concert, Kurt Cobain saw a girl being sexually assaulted in the audience and he didn’t say a word but put down his guitar, grabbed the guy and hung him from his belt loop on a prop so everyone could see him and then Kurt went back to his chair and as he was picking up his guitar he said into the microphone while looking towards the guy and said “Now you get to be exposed.” Not the only time a musician has come to the rescue of a fan.
    If I’m not listening to my music, that’s a signal that I’m extremely depressed. Because it’s such a part of my coping methods when I’m dealing with pain or exhaustion or anxiety or depression or dehydration or nightmares. I’m not savvy enough to post my parts of my favorite playlist, but for anyone who is dealing with a #chronic illness that has changed their entire life (which one doesn’t?) I highly recommend listening to TOOL’s #invincible from the Fear Inoculum album. And if you’re dealing with #PTSD , listen to A Perfect Circle’s #feathers . That song is like Maynard’s supporting you in your recovery.

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Quitting smoking with depression

    I quit smoking for a month and a half and then something stressful happened with a family member and I went and bought a pack. And another and another. I'm starting over tomorrow. I know smoking doesn't help with stress but my bipolar depression has become unmanageable most days and I guess it's a comfort/crutch. I keep telling myself I have things to live for and being healthy will ensure I'm alive for as long as possible. I'm feeling quite defeated today and would really appreciate some encouragement. #quittingsmoking #Smoking #NicotineDependence #Addiction #Bipolar1Disorder #Psychosis #Anxiety #Depression

    13 people are talking about this
    Community Voices


    Hi and thanks for allowing me to join ! I’m 59 y/o single and I’ve been living alone for almost 3 years . My life has been one bad decision after the other and I’m so ready to change the way I think and the way I react. Both of my parents were alcoholics, I became the caretaker at the age of about 6. I experienced relentless bullying from 2 nd to 12 th grade , at 15 I started drinking , smoking weed, taking pills, at 17 I moved in with my BF who was a convicted felon and addict. I started using IV drugs . It’s was a physically and emotionally abusive relationship that lasted 6 years . I had an abortion at this point in my life. I was arrested many times for misdomeanor crimes, mostly drug related. I finally straighten up to a degree when I was about 25, I married an older man and this relationship lasted only 3 years. I continue to use on and off. I married again and that too was a failure . The only thing good was that we adopted my daughter . I became a nurse and practiced for 17 years . My dad died and I had a mental breakdown . I surrendered my liscense and I took a dive into drugs and alcohol. I had two very physivcally abusive relations , the last one lasting 12 years which almost completely destroyed me . He was a textbook narcissist and when I finally got away from him I felt worthless, and dead inside . I lost myself. That was 3 years ago. Finally I’m trying to recover from all the trauma in my life , but I’m not sure how. I’m riddled with extreme anxiety, I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate , I feel like nothing good is in store for me . I question why I’m even here . I can’t remember the last time I had fun , had anything to look forward to. My dreams have come and gone and I’ve lost the ability to dream new ones. I’m open to any suggestions that may help me learn how to deal with the loneliness and anxiety I’m experiencing. I want to learn the right way to deal with life , problems. I want to learn how to look forward to something and have fun. I’ve been in a state of survival most all of my life and I wonder if it’s too late for me ?

    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    You've Got It All Wrong

    Part 1 of 2 When a chronically suicidal person is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease only to face Medical Inequality coupled with family mobbing

    As the scapegoat member of a narcissistic family dynamic, I have been chronically suicidal since the age of 14. With each of my suicide attempts, some of my family members have exhibited anger toward me while others have been deeply saddened and still others showed no emotion either way. At the age of 60, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening, treatment resistant disease. The reactions of family members to this news have been very disturbing; especially, since I am faced with barriers to medical treatment.

    Despite providing documentation of lab results, medical visit notes, and citations from medical journals with statistical analyses of the disease and it’s treatment prognosis along with cost-effectiveness practices of medical providers and insurance companies, my family members have expressed to me either their annoyance because they think I’m crying wolf, their satisfaction that they will finally be rid of me, or the usual apathy about anything that relates to my life. The most frustrating of these is being called a liar.

    To be clear, I have no fear of death and would welcome it’s arrival sooner than later. What is upsetting to me is the attitude that my life doesn’t matter; which, is being exhibited by family members and medical practitioners. It’s one thing when one chooses death for themselves. It’s quite another when others choose death for an individual.

    I have already addressed in previous articles the medical inequality faced by those who are elderly, disabled, low-income, or on Medicare. I have touched on gender bias among medical practitioners. This article is about the experience of being perceived as ‘the boy who cried wolf’ and the bizarre phenomenon of lifestyle bias as it relates to receiving life-saving medical treatment.

    Based upon the results of diagnostic tools, there is no doubt in the minds of medical practitioners nor my family members that I have this disease. The seriousness of this disease is being questioned by family members. The problem seems to be their lack of comprehension of the term ‘life-threatening’. The first aspect of this ignorance is the questioning of the fact that pneumonia, a complication of this disease, could be considered life-threatening. The second aspect is the misconception that ‘life-threatening’ is the same as ‘terminal’.

    Let’s look at the second part first—the medical definitions of the two terms: “a progressive disease where death as a consequence of that disease can reasonably be expected within 6 months”. “a condition for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail.”

    What makes my life-threatening condition even more serious is that the curative treatment is being denied. An

    states, “With curative care comes hope. Typically, when a patient receives curative care, it is an indication that there is a belief that the patient may potentially recover, or will at least be able to continue living at a reasonable quality. Curative care may take many different forms, but all have the same goals. Aggressive care is a form of curative care and represents a proactive approach to medical treatment. This care aggressively aims to eliminate medical issues, rather than simply minimizing their impact. A patient that is receiving aggressive care will typically receive medication, have access to technology, undergo surgery, and take any other measures that could be considered effective approaches to treat an illness. When it no longer appears that the patient has a legitimate chance to recover or continue to live with a decent quality of life, doctors may suggest ending aggressive care.”

    The doctors are already aware that the for my diagnosis is poor. What my family fails to acknowledge is that the prognosis of this disease with treatment failure is even worse with a in certain studies.

    As for my family members’ misconception regarding the seriousness of pneumonia, the The mortality rate of disseminated fusariosis when there is physical interstitial lung capillary blockage even wit

    Community Voices

    You've Got It All Wrong

    Part 2 of 2 h treatment.

    Part of the hesitance of doctors to treat me for this disease is that I have a treatment resistant tobacco #Addiction . A component of the attitude of my family members is, “If you want the doctors to help you, just quit #Smoking .” I have been on several #Smoking cessation medications and gone through the companion behavioral modification treatment modalities. The prescriptions included the gum, the patch, Welbutrin, Chantix, and Nicotrol spray. I have been cooperative and compliant with the #Smoking cessation treatments to no avail.

    My tobacco addition is a symptom of #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder . I am experiencing barriers to treatment for CPTSD in the way of insurance (Medicare does not cover), financial (low, limited income prohibits paying out-of-pocket), and medical transportation (in a semi-rural area with no vehicle, ineligibility for Medicaid, and out of the service area for community resources).

    The bizarre aspect of this is that, even if the doctors wish to withhold curative treatment based upon my tobacco use, why are they refusing palliative care? Palliative care is symptom management of a disease to keep a patient comfortable before impending death. It appears I am being punished with a slow miserable death solely because of tobacco bias.

    I have never heard of patients being denied curative, much less palliative, care based solely upon their lifestyle choices—not drug or alcohol addicts, not obese patients with #EatingDisorders , not diabetics who refuse dietary changes, not anyone. The only other patients who experience withholding of medical treatment and community judgment such as this are those seeking abortions from doctors with religious objections!

    On that note, I repeat the sentiment I expressed above–how disturbing when others, for any reason other than a capital offense, choose death for an individual, a slow miserable one no less! If all the doctors wish to provide me is palliative care under the condition that I quit #Smoking first, from a cost-effectiveness and humanitarian standpoint, which is less expensive and more compassionate? Force me to quit #Smoking , have me go through withdrawals I have no #MentalHealth support for, then give palliative care until I die. Or, give me palliative care now while I smoke and; because I’m a smoker, the length of time I will need palliative care before death will be that much shorter and cost insurance a heck of a lot less.

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Forgiveness = Freedom & Peace

    I’m sry this is a lil long. I am 52 but the baby in my fam. 3 brothers and 1 sister who passed. One of my brothers who is the only married one said they considered me more like their daughter then a sister.
    We were extremely close talked on the phone all the time sleep overs & vacations. I then got sick Lyme twice then diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
    I unfortunately was not able to work any longer. I had loved working and loved my career. My company ended up laying off 90% of my department. I was absolutely crushed. At the time I had needed back surgery and ended up getting an anterior lumbar fusion.

    When I spoke with my brother he felt that I could and should still work. He and my sister in law started saying that I should lose weight (which they had not known I has lost a considerable amount of weight)
    Then they went on to say I should stop drinking which again because I had quit smoking due to the surgery I also stopped drinking.
    They then said A LOT to me a lot of things that were out of line. They then proceeded to say the most painful thing to me.
    Which was they hoped that I wouldn’t get approved for disability. Now at the time my husband was awaiting his disability as he was hurt on the job. So financially we were struggling. (Sry so long).

    So fast forward 10 years I have been on disability and my brother and sister in law do not speak. They told my mother they do not know why we’re not speaking or why I’m mad at them. I think my biggest pet peeve of the whole thing is they said they looked at me as a daughter. Yet they never reach out. We have had a few special occassions were my daughter wanted them there, so we invited them.
    They have never invited us to anything. I don’t want to be petty and want to do the whole forgive and forget but the question is I am worthy are they worthy of my forgiveness or can as I have my own family my husband and daughter. Write them off as I feel they did me ?
    Whatcha ya guys think

    #fibromyalgia #fibrowarrior
    #fibrofighter #sickofbeingsick
    #chroniclymediseaseawareness #lymesucks #LymeWarrior #lyme
    #invisibleillness #spoonielife #chronicpainsucks #epsteinbarr
    #ra #rheumatoidarthritis #ic/BPS #interstitialcystitis #ptsd #sciatica #pituitarytumor #nervedamage #ankylosingspondylitis #LymeDisease #LymeWarrior #chronicpain #chronicpainsufferer #ddd #migraines
    #immunocompromised #forgive #familydisfunction
    #InvisibleDisability #DisabilityBenefits #anteriorlumbarfusion
    #LymeDisease #ChronicLymeDisease

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Looking For A Forever Friend?. Adopt a flurry Maltese!. Available Now!

    <p>Looking For A Forever Friend?. Adopt a flurry Maltese!. Available Now!</p>
    Natalie Rodriguez

    Losing a Father Figure When Your Biological Father Abused You

    I once read a quote where it said that life is painful but extraordinary as well. I have always liked that quote; in fact, it felt ritual to post each year on social media. The last time I ever expected to write the following would be a few years from now. Well, many years to be exact. Over the weekend, my stepfather passed away. He lost his five-plus month battle with stage four stomach cancer. He was 60 years old, a man who still had a life to live. My mother advised me over the phone that early morning–the call to break the news to me–that Al was sound asleep. He was in no pain. It was what most of us, including my mother, wanted. None of us wanted Al to be in pain, especially when we were informed just two months earlier that the doctors were unable to stop ongoing bleeding with the growing tumor in his stomach. Al had two choices. He could proceed with chemo and return to the hospital every few weeks for a blood transfusion due to the stomach tumor bleeding. The other was to stop treatment completely and be placed in hospice. Al made the brave decision to return home and be with his family. He lived with my mother and his two daughters (or my stepsisters). At the time, like many of Al’s loved ones, I was enraged and confused too. For a while, I thought there were other treatments or a way for the doctors to surgically shrink the tumor in order to perform a surgical removal. I mean, they had to. Al was always a fighter. But the irony with cancer is we do not get chose when it comes to recovery. That was the reality when it came to Al’s deteriorating health. Al always echoed his concern of being at the hospital, while away from family, and something bad happened. Including death. He wanted to be home with people he loved. It clicked over time — that was his worse fear, to be away from the love of his life (my mother) and his baby girl (Lindsay). The reality was difficult to accept, especially when I struggled to drive over to see Al, my mother, and my step-sisters. When my mother sent out a group text of Al’s treatment coming to an end and for him to go into hospice, I immediately called out of work and saw them. The drive there was nerve-racking and I felt sick to my stomach, petrified if I had to pull over to throw up or be consumed by anxiety and panic attacks. Fortunately, neither had occurred. To be honest what kept me focused on getting to the house was repeating, “Go there for Al. Go there for Al.” So, I did. As soon as I arrived, a truck was already parked in the driveway of their home. It was hospice delivering equipment. The rest was sort of a haze. All I remember was my mother walking the aide outside and greeting me. Then, we walked into the house together. She told me something around the lines of not being scared when I saw Al. In the living room, Al was sitting in his favorite LaZ-Boy chair. So far, he appeared to be “himself.” He was in the middle of filing his taxes. He was talking and answering phone calls, as well as surfing the web. Why? It was actually he who wanted to get a jumpstart on his taxes from the year before. However, it felt like the elephant in the room for a bit while Lindsay and my mother helped Al with his paperwork. I decided to stay a few extra hours when my mother informed me that hospice would be stopping by in a bit. At the time, Evelyn was at work. That was a bigger punch in the gut and, I am certain, it was the same for my mother, Lindsay, and my other stepsister, Evelyn. I forgot names. I forgot what time hospice stopped by. But it was clear when the coordinator began asking Al and our questions about his final wishes. While I sat on the couch, next to Lindsay and across from Al, we listened as he declined for anyone to perform CPR for him if that time ever came. My mother, Lindsay, and I were silent until, Al broke the ice and flat out asked us, “Right, girls?” We agreed. I stayed as late as I could. On my way home, at some point, I bawled my eyes out. Little did I know, at the time, Al was accepting his new reality or fate–something that my therapist guided me through in the weeks to follow. At the time, I was unaware of my own denial. That was something I learned of my own denial in the weeks to come, regardless of how busy life got. Sure, my work schedule changed and film and book projects kept me busier than usual but, the longer I was away from Al and the house, I was consumed with guilt. I saw Al once more after the day when Hospice dropped off equipment and the coordinator visited. But each week, I dreaded the arrival of another weekend. The truth was simple: I was terrified to see Al and accept the reality of him never getting better. In-between the two to three weeks of not seeing him, my mother, or my stepsisters, I felt like a bigger asshole. Whenever my mother and I spoke on the phone, she was emotional and divulged that Al was not going to live much longer. I retorted that it was possible for him to get better, something that a few of us strongly felt for weeks. But my mother expressed her truth about Al’s state of eating fewer meals and sleeping more, especially in his final week. Ultimately, my therapist called me out on my denial the week of seeing Al for the last time. She informed me that the longer someone avoids something, the pain will only go up. During this session, I wanted to scream and argue against her but sadly, it slowly began to click. The longer I went without seeing Al, the more anxious and stressed out I felt. The giveaway was experiencing shoulder pain and tension just days before seeing my stepdad. I felt disappointed in myself. My therapist was right but at the time, I was scared. I was not ready to accept. Later that week, I made the trip down to the house. For the first time, I met two of Al’s caregivers. He was happy to see him and I was too. Immediately, I went over to Al and gave him a hug. I apologized and told him something like, “Sorry, I didn’t come sooner.” It was all I thought of at that moment. But something I always admired of Al, once someone was there — it’s all that mattered. Fortunately, my final memories of Al were beautiful and positive. For the next few hours that day, I ran some errands with my mom, watched movies, and overheard banter and chit-chat between everyone in the household. Al enjoyed snacking on sweets and sugar. He also picked up a newish habit and was smoking a vape with 5% tobacco. Some were not too pleased with his recent intake of just sweets and, then, tobacco. But Al always smiled, as he did, and said he just simply had a sweet tooth. Before leaving the house, I asked Al what type of candy he wanted the next time I saw him. It was between Boston Baked Beans and Australian Licorice. Even at his frailest, his eyes lit up and he requested Boston Baked Beans. I told him how about both. He smiled. We embraced twice. I was a bit terrified when I felt how brittle and thinner he was. But at that moment, I had to remind myself that cancer altered his physical appearance but never his attitude. In those moments, I was relieved to be there with Al, my mother, my stepsisters, and the caregivers. It was what I needed, and I know Al did too, in order to heal. It was all an eye-opener and proof — Al was living his life to the fullest with no regrets. Al died six days later after my visit. It was terrible. Two nights before his passing, I struggled to sleep. I stayed up passed midnight back-to-back, trying to watch TV and binge-eating sweets. I was super nervous and overall, worried. I thought to myself that Al could not die. He had people to be there for. He needed to be there for Lindsay’s graduation or Evelyn’s wedding. It was very difficult for me to not go down old habits and wonder why the good people appear to go first. It was never a secret, especially when I publicly shared my childhood to young adulthood, as well as the aftermath of Jeff’s passing just years ago, in projects: I wanted people such as my abusers to switch places with Jeff or Al, aka my biological dad and older brother. I cut ties with them more than 10 years ago after confronting them about their abuse and when my biological dad relapsed from alcohol. For years, I suffered at the hands of their abuse, something that I never went into full detail with either Jeff or Al. In therapy, I learned that one’s past never defines their future, let alone are there pre-requisites when it comes to sharing your trauma and overall story. For me, I felt that time would sometime arrive where I felt ready to tell, both, Jeff and Al of the details. Often, I wonder if it was best for neither of my two father figures to know. **Sidenote – I am forever talking about this in therapy; it is something I continue to work on.*** On the morning of Al’s passing, I woke up with 6 am to seven missed calls from my mother. By the time she picked up the phone, I already knew her answer. She choked up. We both discussed how it was best for Al to go in his sleep, without any pain. He was at peace. Al once told us that he felt best when he was either falling asleep; it made him relaxed. Fortunately, I was able to cry for the first time on the phone with my mother. She choked up and agreed with me that the situation sucks. Cancer sucks. I decided to visit the house that day, along with my partner. So far, there have been many ups and downs before a funeral is set. Just taking it one day at a time like many loved ones of Al. The irony with one’s passing is not only learning more about others, and both their fortunate and unfortunate intensions, but of yourself. Al’s passing got me to open up more to my partner and vice versa with him. For the first time, sharing personal details of the past and worries about the future felt calm and not traumatizing. I would like to think a lot had to do with, both, Jeff and Al being present. I would like to think they were telling me that it was OK. I would be lying to myself if I said what was next. A lot continues to make me anxious and scared right now. First and foremost, I am dreading Al’s funeral because I do not want to see people I care about cry. I am also not ready to see Al or say goodbye to him. I am, more so, annoyed by the idea of running into toxic individuals at the services–people like my biological dad and older brother–and giving them peace of my mind. Let’s be honest, who does not have these wishes. But something I continue to tell myself, and probably will forever, is this is about Al. His passing is my time to reflect on the beautiful relationship I developed with him. It is about remembering him as the man who lived many lives and turned his life around. It is about the fortunate situations he experienced, including the five and a half years of being with my mother. Al was never a traveler, but he traveled with my mother to various cities and countries. This is about Al and the third chance of having a wonderful role model and father figure in life. That is something I am forever grateful for. I would like to think that both Jeff and Al are hanging out in Heaven. Hope will continue to move me forward.